Wget: Can’t execute ‘ssl_helper’: No such file

wget: can't execute 'ssl_helper': No such file or directory wget: error getting response: Connection reset by peer

Chances are you’re here because you saw this error while trying to do something with wget. The vanilla alpine wget docker install has ssl_helper throwing this error when trying to pull from an https site:
wget: can't execute 'ssl_helper' error_message

However, alpine wget ssl_helper can throw this same error in non-Docker configurations. You might think the answer is just to redo the alpine install wget. Alpine will still throw these errors though as it has no way to authenticate SSL connections until we add the ca-certificates package with either wget or openssl

The two ways to fix this error quickly are as follows:

Install ca-certificates and wget:

apk update
apk add ca-certificates wget

Now when we rerun our wget to an HTTPS URL we see success:

Wget: Can't execute 'ssl_helper' error fix 1

Install ca-certificates and openssl:

If you don’t care about the footprint of your Alpine Linux install, the other way would be to just go ahead and also install openssl:

apk update
apk add ca-certificates openssl

Again we see success:

Wget: Can't execute 'ssl_helper' error fix 2

So what is the ca-certificates package and why do we care about it?

ca-certificates is a collection of common certificate-authorities that Mozilla uses to SSL-based applications to check the authenticity of SSL connections. For more information see: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/governance/policies/security-group/certs/

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